I, Android. The flipper diaries, part one.

I wasn’t going to write this, but some of the stuff was funny enough to be shared.  I became an android in January (“looks look like a human on the outside but with robot-like internal mechanics”).  

When I was wheeled in for the operation, one of the medical team remembered me from a previous visit and said, “oh you’re that guy who does the sea swimming”. She then calls a colleague and says, “this man swims in the sea all the time. Doesn’t your boyfriend do that?”.  “Yes”, says the colleague, “he’s training for triathlons.” “Where do you go now?”, she asks me – “would you be in Myrtleville or Sandycove?”

No, I’m not making this up and I wasn’t drugged at that point – just flat on my back waiting for a new ticky bit for my heart and wondering if I was on candid camera.

“I’d be Myrtleville, really” I said, refraining from further comment in case I was going to be identified and unable to defend myself.  She didn’t refrain though.  “Yaaaaaay!”, she says, turning to her colleague, “Myrtleville is much more fun, they’re great crack down there and really welcoming.  The Sandycove crowd are…….different, really.” 

Honestly, not even I could make this stuff up.

Anyway, I knew I was in good hands (discerning, intelligent people – clearly) and they did a great job.  Just one problem – I was told afterwards – you can’t swim any more.  Oh.  Hmm.  That wasn’t great news.  “Never fear”, I thought,”I’ll ring Bernie Lynch.  He’ll have a plan”.  I don’t know why I thought that after the hames he made of advising me about the weever fish attack the last time, but I rang him anyway.

Fair dues, he had a plan.  “No swimming?  Yerrah feck that.  We’ll get ya flippers and a snorkel.  You’ll be grand.”  When you’re at a low ebb, it’s great to get some clarity and certainty.  Then he started messing it up. “”Sure I remember doing laps of Sandycove when I was diving and we used to do them with flippers, no arms – nothin’ “. “C’mere”, I said, “what has laps of Sandycove got to do with it?”  “Don’t worry” he says, “it’ll work in Myrtleville too”.  I suppose I’d just have to trust him.

As soon as I get the all clear in March, I’m down to the beach.  Arrival doesn’t go well.  As I get there, Celine Hyde pulls into my space.  Right in front of me.   She gets out and says, “first come, first served”.  There must have been an EGM while I was away and new rules dreamed up.  I bet Denis Condon is behind it.  Anyway, I was on a mission so I parked all the way across the road and got on with it.

Armed with Abby Lynch’s old snorkel (cleaned with Milton by Ann Lynch, I’m assured – not that I’d care) and a pair of long diving fins covered in dust and spider webs, last seen outside of the Lynch garage in the 1990s, I head for the sea.  Marcus Austin is on hand to take a picture and keep an eye out.  “If I go under too often, Marcus, come and get me….” The new life of the android flipper has begun.

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Cosmic, man. Cosmic.

There is no excuse in life for belittling the efforts of people to educate and better themselves.  I firmly believe this and have therefore been very disappointed by the reaction to the news that three of our good friends are travelling to Valentia Island to attend an Astronomy course. 

The three spacers (an unkind description really, Ann Lynch – you should be more understanding) are going to be learning all kinds of totally cosmic stuff about how the planets align, whether the moon is 98% full or really like, full full, like and generally broadening their minds and opening the doors of perception.

Open water sea swimming in Cork, Ireland

De three spacemen, heading West for the stars.

Unfortunately, the reaction to this news from certain others has been less than supportive.  The view from some quarters is that a skite was planned for a weekend on the drink with some ould course as a convenient excuse and the details were kept quiet from those who might have wanted to attend for the “course”.  

Speaking on condition of strict anonymity, Liam Maher said: “this astronomy thing has to be nipped in the bud.  Are they looking to swim to Moonrock and back at midnight or what?  There was a weekend on the tear to be had and the boyos kept it quiet until it was too late for us to book.  Sure Trevor and Alan and myself and the rest of the lads never get a weekend away.  This was our shot and they kept us out of it.  There’ll be consequences for this.  Consequences”.

In fairness, though, the anonymous commenter quoted above has a history of good begrudgery.

I say well done to the three spacemen and look forward to seeing them really connect to their inner cosmic souls and share the love around the beach in Myrtleville. 

Peace, brothers.  Peace.

Rob de Bull, Mr. Finbarr and Bernie on the way home after the Astronomy course.

Back Beach Boys – Beware

Some of you may recall the efforts to encourage swimmers away from the heaven that is Myrtleville and into “fresh” water.  These efforts were thwarted, but now a new challenge has emerged.  Under the guise of offering an opportunity to swim on those rare days that the SE winds make Myrtleville “challenging”, a number of bad hombres and mnás are seeking to lure unsuspecting swimmers to “the back beach” in a secret location (over in Fountainstown). 

They make ludicrous claims like “no swimming in Myrtleville until December” and issue the siren call of  “join us for a feed at the back beach”.  This is being done on a day when Myrtleville looks like this…….

Beautiful, swimmable Myrtleville. Just waiting for you to enjoy.

Don’t be fooled!  Don’t go down that “back beach” road.  The rogue splinter group appear to be led by a shadowy, anonymous figure known only as “Daniel Swagrzyk, formerly of Barnsley, now living in Fountainstown”.  How we’re supposed to identify him from that limited information, I just don’t know.

Be strong, Swimmers.  Resist the cake calls. Stay close to home in beautiful Myrtleville.  The “back beach”?  There be dragons.

Privilege fees for Myrtleville Swimming

Things have got ridiculous. There were over 100 swimmers last Saturday and much the same on Sunday.  In October.  FFS.  I can can hardly get parking  It has become much harder to gain access to the beach and people keep getting in my way in the sea  there are safety issues about so many people in the water at the same time.  There are just too many swimmers in Myrtleville at this stage.  Through #supporttheweakercounties, we’ve tried encouraging people to move to the West, where there are wide open empty, grey islands.  No takers.  Hardly suprising, but it was worth a try.

It hasn’t been an easy decision but we are left with no option.  Following a special EGM of The Committee for Appraising Stuff Holistically Concerning Open Water Swimming (The CASHCOWS),  we’re going to start charging for use of the beach.  That might cut down on the numbers, or at least give us some dosh to go off out foreign for a break from the crowds.

The Committee have created a number of packages to give choices to users queuing to pony up for the privilege (and it is a feckin’ privilege) to swim in Myrtleville.  Note that the dirty word “Membership” has not been mentioned at any stage – there’s no club here.  You’re just paying for the privilege of access to the beach, the ambience, street cred etc.  The CASHCOWS will mind the money.  Don’t worry about that. 

To ensure fair pricing, guidance was received from Mr. F. Murphy c/o Pairc Ui Chaoimh.  Mr. Murphy is a noted expert in setting pricing at levels requiring finance to afford them.  All the Credit Unions are lending, by the way.

The Privilege Packages are as follows and each comes with its own host at the beach. 

The Condon Classic Privilege Package – €5,000 PA.   Five year tickets available for €20k.

This is the ideal level for the daily dipper who wants to spend up to 18 hours a day at the beach. Condon Classic ticket holders will be guaranteed a bench seat (as long as there’s room – no guarantees, like) and can loiter at the beach all day, being fed by other swimmers.  There may be some swimming done, but mostly it’s about the social scene, cakes and chatting. Your host, Bishop Denis, will be on hand for spiritual guidance, while you’re cooking his rashers.

Bishop Denis of New York. Star of the silver screen.

Bishop Denis of New York. Star of the silver screen.

The Lobster Executive Privilege Package – €7,500 PA.  Five year tickets available for €30,000.

This is an enhanced version of the Condon Classic, involving fresh lobster meals (when available) provided by your host, Bernie Lynch (Note: no actual lobsters have been harmed in any way during the lobster hunting season so far, so don’t be too hungry when you arrive).  This is perfect if you’re into long swims exploring from Church Bay to Fountainstown and beyond.  Bernard will show you caves, rocks and shaley beaches you didn’t even know existed – even though you’re swimming past them every day.

One man and his pot. B. Lynch in action.

The Anonymous Privilege Package – €10,000PA – no cash trail.  €45k five-year option available.

This one took a lot of deliberations by the Committee, but we had to recognise and confront the issue head on.  Part of the problem with the numbers in Myrtleville is all of the “Sandycove” swimmers who just happen to spend all of their time in Myrtleville – bar the odd trip West for show, or if there’s something on down there. Very rarely, in other words. We don’t subscribe to name and shame tactics so we’ll keep your names quiet, once you pay up. Or, of course, if you prefer, there’s always de upliftingly-coloured grey island to go to. No? Thought not. Sign here.

Anonymous package purchasers will receive a bonus DVD on signing, with classic tracks like Grey Day by Madness, Fade to Grey by Visage and films like The men who stare at Goats.

Just another club chairman showing his true colours.

Hat-wearing, non-swimming Privilege Package –  €1,500 PA.  

This package is perfect for former swimmers who like to flaunt their Myrtleville hats and towels on holiday, but haven’t turned up for a swim in ages. James Slowey, Harry Casey – you know de lads. This package confers the privilege to retain their gear but have no actual swimming rights.

This is the only level without a longer term option, as it’s hoped that purchasers will cop on and get back swimming – at full package rates, bien sûr.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

James Slowey – ‘Have you seen this man?

Privilege Packages are available from Lynch’s Centra Crosshaven from November 1st.  The Credit Union is just next door, handily enough.

Financial Advisors will attend this weekend’s Vampire Swim for guidance on loan options.

Hat journeys

It’s been a while since we’ve taken note of the many journeys The Hat is taking.  Last week I visited d’Island down West to give them some moral support.  I was delighted to see two swimmers emerging from the water at the slip wearing green Myrtleville hats.  Great to see our #supporttheweakercounties initiative in action.

Myrtlevillian regular, Noreen Fox, also swam in her green hat last week.

Noreen was a bit further West than d’Island, though.  Juneau, Alaska to be precise.  See that white stuff on the hills there?  Snow.  Seriously – snow. 

That’s not the impressive one, though. Hands up who else has been swimming with an iceberg?

Noreen is now prepared for Winter swimming with Denis and his adoring Mnás 🙂